Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This picture was taken at a birthday party that Abby attended. Nobody ended up swimming, it was too cold, but we did stick our feet in the pool. It was a gorgeous day and the kids played and played on the playground. Abby spent quite a bit of time trying to learn to drive a motorized tractor and it's a good thing she has years more to practice before she drives a car.

We love it when we get the chance to have S. over to play.

Our street was being prepared for repavement and these two spent a lot of the day at the window watching the different trucks and tractors rip apart our street.

In the cardboard playhouse that Abby got from her grandmother last birthday reading a recordable book from Aunt Denali. I found a second foldout couch for $2 at a consignment sale and it is just as popular as the Ariel one.

They also enjoyed stringing together Froot Loop necklaces.

S. soon lost patience with this project and headed back to the playroom, but Abigail was dedicated and wanted hers to be especially long.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mommy School

The first day of joy school went well and the girls are extremely excited for school this year.

I wanted to make a "helping hands" job chart for the girls and I did so by having Bee make the hand prints for me. This worked out great and these were the best hand prints she's made yet. I then cut them out and laminated them.

Here was my inspiration photo for the project.

 My turn to teach finally came. I focused on the letter 'c' and had so much fun. I began with centers and had the girls rotate. The center on the left is a sensory bucket. I filled it with dry beans and rice and the hid small green gems (or Crystals) throughout. Their job was to 'collect the crystals.' This sensory bucket provided Abigail with hours and hours of entertainment. She loved it. It entertained even older children (7 & 11) when they were at my house for the weekend several weeks later. I even enjoy feeling the different textures and playing in the bucket.

The middle tray was called 'sort the cookies.' The paper cookies had colored chocolate chips. Some were red, others blue, and still others green. The girls then used a spatula to sort the cookies into the appropriate colored plate. Abby had painted the plates ahead of time. I found the idea on this blog and made the cookies in adobe photo shop. The third tray was for cutting practice and was called 'cut the clay.' They had a ball of play dough and some scissors. So simple, yet so entertaining for them. I also get a lot of my ideas from preschoolpalace.org and http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/

I found my snack idea through pinterest (http://www.oopseydaisyblog.com/2010/09/first-week-of-mommy-school.html). I used my experience from the Montessori classroom to know to write a number by each snack and to have the students count them out themselves. They were especially excited to count out five chocolate chips.

'c' foods: cheese, celery, carrots, croutons, chips, & crackers.
To add some physical activity to the day, I spread out plastic and glass crystals and plastic pirate coins throughout the family room. The girls then had a paper bag to collect. I used a timer and had them collect one object during each time period. Then they would check off on their bags what they had collected. They really enjoyed this.

On the second day we had these cream cheese cars as part of our snack. One of the girls has a peanut allergy or I would have used peanut butter. These were delicious, but the girls were not interested in them.

Coloring on the chalkboard.

Letter C hand painting.

I had them form the letter (the paper had a plastic cover) with the clay. They were very helpful with each other.
I have so much fun with these three girls. They are great and they are learning so much. I love to hear them pledge allegiance to the flag and to see them show interest in their colors, their numbers, and art. However, I am also excited to have a few weeks off before it is my turn for mommy school again. I do not know if you noticed in the pictures above but I have put a lot of effort into coloring, cutting, and laminating a lot of my visuals.

We also made cats similar to this one.
Miss Maren's Monkeys Preschool: Letter C - Tues 09/28/10

My informal lesson plans:

*****Cookie: practice sorting cookies with a spatula, feed the numbered cookies to the mouse
*****Sensory bucket: just for fun. Rice & beans with cups and funnels.
*****Clay: play with clay and cut it.

Introduce Letter C: Show the children the Letter C poster (page 28). Trace over the letter with your fingers. Ask the children to do the same. Trace the letter C in the air or use personal wipe-off boards. Make a letter C basket that includes several items that start with the letter C.
Enunciate the C sound when identifying the items. Ask children to repeat or name the items in the basket. Ask the children what other items could be put in the basket.

Books: C is for Clown, If you give a mouse a cookie, Cookie’s week, I like colors w/cd. Have out some color books to read on their own.
Collage: put things on the letter c to fill it in.
Cat: c is for cat
Collection: collect things outside: aCorn, coins, crystals, candy?
Introduce GREEN

*****Crystals: transfer crystals with slotted spoon.
*****Craft: Coins are circles. Coin rubbings and tracings. Trace around coins to make circles. Place coins under paper and rub crayons over coins to see impressions and more circles.
*****Table activity: Clipping letter C’s. Print letters on several index cards, including several with the letter C on it. Provide clothespins and ask children only to clip the cards with the letter C. on them.

Cookie: If you give a Mouse a cookie, book and activities from:http://thepreschoolexperiment.blogspot.com/search/label/Letter%20C

Craft: C is for caterpillar card (page 39). Print out card and color or use as template to cut foam letter C. Provide several colored circles, or older children can trace and cut their own using cans. Glue on googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae.

Circle time activity: C phonics, C is for clap. Read aloud the following words and ask the children to clap every time they hear a word that starts with the letter C and makes the hard C sound:
Cat, dog, couch, boy, girl, cookie, toy, doll, banana, train, hat, crunchy, crayon.
Hand painting: the letter C
Chalk: color with chalk
Color: color on the house or color on coloring pages, green coloring book.
Paperclips: have squares with colors / numbers on them. Call out a color or number and have them put a clip on it.
Clay: trace the letters on whiteboards, then cover the letter with clay
Cooking Friday: Remove the strings from celery stalks and cut into 3 or 4 in long "logs". Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on the celery sticks place raisins on top in a row for your ants. Add toothpicks and carrot wheels for Ant Cars!

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Arrival

I had the privilege of watching these two cute boys while my friend was in the hospital bringing a new baby girl into the world. I only had them some of the time, but I also had the honor of taking them to the hospital to meet their baby sister for the first time. They were especially excited to see their mom and dad, since they had been separated from them for several days. My little one snuck into the hospital room with me and got the chance to hold this precious new one, fresh from heaven. After a few minutes, she looked at the new father and said "she's a little heavy" with a tone that said "take this thing from me."

Her hair is impossible to keep in place, and I had to get three kids dressed and shoed  instead of one.  Sierra kept commenting about how dirty they were. I tried, I really did.

This present from the new baby included crackers and chocolate peanut butter cups. By the end of our visit, Sierra was  happy to have peace and quiet again, although she did have to ask for new, clean sheets; hers were covered with dirt, goldfish crackers, and chocolate smears.

There is something so special about an infant. We all loved the chance to hold and cuddle with her. She is a wonderful baby and wins the prize for being the easiest baby that I have ever met.

Bee reveled in the chance to feed little N. She was so demanding and controlling about when he could and could not eat. He did not seem to mind.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kentucky BBQ Festival

This project, of her own make, lasted hours and hours and days and days. She was so focused on it until she completed it. I had several scraps of card stock that she took and cut into small pieces (good scissor practice). Then she colored each piece in completely. When that was finished, she turned all of the pieces over and colored the other side. She never used these for anything, I even tried to get her to glue them together to make a collage, she just enjoyed the process. I taught her to color with a paper underneath so as to protect the table and trays and she was very dutiful to do so.

Abigail and I attended the Kentucky BBQ festival and enjoyed the petting zoo, the crafts, and the games. She had a variety of cute images to choose from for the wand craft, but she chose a ghost and she markered the entire thing purple. She loved that little ghost.

At least she didn't ask for a ghost or a Frankenstein on her cheek. :)

This year she did not dance as much as she had the year previous.

For $5 there was an unlimited pass for the bouncy houses. There were several to jump in and it was  five dollars well spent.

Hear she is dancing and moving while waiting in line for the slide.

The children are required to wear socks in these thing, which is great for hygiene, but difficult  for traction. Last  year she struggled to make the climb, but she did not have any difficulties this year.

On a side note: Benjamin is such a dutiful father. He is always teaching Abigail things and she loves spending time with her. I caught them reading books on the front porch and I had to snap some pictures.

These two are the loves of my life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Day of Joyschool

My mother always took a cute picture of her children in front of the door on their first day of preschool. Here is mine:
My mother made this dress for me and she braided and curled my hair. 

I tried to take pictures of Abigail in front of the door, but I did not like how they turned out. We moved to the tree and the stairs and I was pleased with the results. My little girl is growing so quickly. She won't start preschool until next year, but she is attending our co-op school and she is learning a lot. She shows a lot of interest in letters and can sound out several words. She has already started independently sounding out and then reading words that she sees around her. I hope she grows up to love reading.

She loves this tree and always pretends that it  is a house, the small branch there serves as the door.

I love her and I love how she always tells me that she loves me.
This is another picture of me at three, scanned from the same scrapbook  page. I don't see myself in her. I sure was cute, though.